auntbijou: (Default)
It's been a while since I could sit out on the back deck at night, thanks to the giant pterodactyl skeeters we've been having lately. No, seriously, those suckers hurt when they bite (no pun intended), and since I've been having allergic reactions to mosquito repellant lately, it was easier to just stay inside.

But tonight, there was a lovely breeze, and it was just cool enough to be pleasantly warm, instead of overbearingly hot, and there was no moon, so the sky was bright with stars. I went out barefoot and sat in one of the chairs, pushing another chair around so I could rest my feet on the seat cushion, and tilted my head back to look up at the sky.

When we first moved out to Central Texas, we lived way out in the middle of nowhere on a two lane highway between San Marcos and Bastrop. There were hardly any houses out there, just lots of cattle, coyotes, and Nubian sheep. And at night?

I had never seen the Milky Way, except when I was in a drum and bugle corps and we were stalled at night out in the middle of nowhere and I just happened to look up. But when we went outside the first night after moving to the 21 house, I remember frowning at the big giant smear splitting the sky in two and asking my husband, "What the heck is that? Incandescent smoke??"

The Husbandly One laughed at me and said, "That's the Milky Way."

I was floored. And I was hooked. I spent a lot of time outside at night after that!

It's one of the few things I regret about moving into town, though by the time we left the 21 house, the population in that area had grown to the point where it was getting hard to see the Milky Way at night. Still, when I sit on the back deck and look up at the night sky, though it's more full of stars than the sky I grew up with in Houston, still... something is missing.

There was this lovely breeze, though, and it was enough to lift my hair from my sweaty neck, and I listened to the night chirps of insects and frogs, the soft twitter of birds, and the occasional owl. There was distant laughter from a house down the block, the smell of hay from a far off field, and somewhere nearby, night-blooming flowers were opening just enough to lightly perfume the air. It was so calm and peaceful, and it made me remember why we bought this house.

The Husbandly One coiled solar LED fairy lights around the porch columns with the help of some friends earlier this summer, and they gave just enough light to see by without overwhelming the night sky. He came out to see what I was up to and sat down to chat, and I looked up just in time to see a meteor streak across the sky overhead.

Yeah, a lovely night to sit, listen, and just be...

SHINY!!!

Friday, July 12th, 2013 09:12 am
auntbijou: (Dancing Snape)
The Husbandly One surprised me yesterday with a brand new MacBook Air!!!

I was not expecting a new laptop this soon at all. I mean, I was hoping for one, since my Vaio died such an ignominious death (and I'm still hoping I can recover the hard drive), but not expecting one at any time before my birthday... maybe. So... I'm really happy!

Writing while out and about has been difficult since losing the Vaio. In fact, the last two times at the library while the kids were at their summer Animanga Club meetings was... frustrating. Trying to use THO's netbook sucked, because... one, it's Windows, and two, THO spilled liquid in the keyboard and thus, some of the keys are sticky, plus it's only got a partial version of Windows 7 (it came that way, if you want the actual full OS... you have to buy it. Extra. Yeah.) so it runs a little slow and it doesn't like using Word. I mean, it will run it, but it considers Word a bit dodgy and thinks less of you for using it.

I admire the Husbandly One's fortitude in using the damn thing.

The second time we were at the library, I borrowed the Impertinent Daughter's MacBook, and realized only after getting to the library that while I had installed Word for Mac on it (at her request, since her school uses Windows), I had not yet installed Pages... and the files on my USB drive were for Pages. I managed a work-around and did fine after that, but that should be one of my goals today, to install iWork on her Mac.

I finally asked THO about taking the Vaio somewhere to get it fixed, because, dammit, I need something to write on, something portable!! Dammit!!

And it wasn't like yesterday wasn't surreal on its own, you know? The Impertinent Daughter finished up the classroom instruction part of the driving course offered at the high school (by an independent driving school) and came home much earlier than I expected, and hit her own version of the Wall of Fatigue. So I left her at home to take a nap, with a guardian little brother, and went for a blissfully peaceful grocery shopping trip. And I'm glad, too, because that's where the surreal part of my day started.

It started with an unexpectedly deep voice behind me saying, "Can I get that for you, Mrs. J?" when I was on my tiptoes trying to get to a package well out of my reach. And I turned around, fully expecting to see my usual Helpful Tall Shop Assistant... and discovered one of my daughter's friends standing there. And I realized three things.

1. He was VERY tall.

2. His voice has gotten deeper since I last spoke to him five weeks ago.

3. He's old enough to work at the grocery store.


tumblr_ll4fkd2wu21qhcru6

Two weeks ago, he was in first grade, shyly introducing himself to the Impertinent Daughter, with pale blond hair and apple red cheeks. Last week, he was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game, tears streaming down his cheeks as I cleaned and bandaged his bloody knee while his mom was gone on a snacks run for half-time because the parent who was supposed to have brought snacks forgot. Yesterday, he was in fifth grade and excitedly telling me how he was going to be in marching band when he started junior high.

There is no way he's old enough to be working at the grocery store!!! NO!!!

Later, I was grabbing a bag of sugar, and heard, "Hi, Mrs. J!!" And there was a girl my daughter has known since... third grade. And... no. Just... no.

I found yet another teenager that my daughter played youth soccer with in the paper aisle. And it just went on and on, all these kids that in my head are still... little... and they're not. And then, when I was checking out, again, a girl from my daughter's class at the cash register, and a boy sacking my groceries, and saying, "Hey, Mrs. J, let me get the ice for you so you don't forget it."

AAAAAAAAH!!!! STAHP!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!

*hyperventilating*

It was bad enough when I realized three years ago that I could no longer perv on the high school boy's cross country track team, because... it was now half populated with boys I had known since they were four and five. But now, they're... turning into people!!

Totally skewed my world view, man!!

My daughter pretty much laughed at me when I got home and related all of this to her, and I had to confront the fact that my daughter is a senior and will be graduating next MAY!!!

*more hyperventilating*

Then, I went to get my hair cut, and she went along with me, and as my uber-awesome stylist was cutting my hair, she started saying, "Oh... my God." She'd cut more, huff, then go, "Oh. My. God." Then a grimace, another huff, and, "Omigod." Then, "Oh, my fucking GOD."

After the seventh repetition of this, I finally said, "Uh... what's going on?" Because the last time I heard that, I was 18 and the lady who had been cutting my hair since I was 11 was ready to kill my hair.

Ms. Stylist grimaced and said, "Your hair is frustrating me. It's never frustrated me before! I've been cutting your hair a long time, Auntie, and I've never seen it do this."

"Do what?" I asked, stunned.

"Well... it's... baby fine, and so... thick... and it's just... every time I cut a section and start to move on, something pops out and I realized I missed something, and I have to go back and cut it, and then something else pops out, and... it's kinda making me nuts here," she said grimly.

And that's when it dawned on me. My hair was coming back. The endocrinologist changed me off the Synthroid/Cytomel combo he had me on and put me on Armour Thyroid, because the S/C combo just wasn't helping. My hair was still falling out, I was still very fatigued, and just not getting better.

I knew my hair was coming back, and I was getting it cut because it was like wearing a wool mop on my head. And I knew it was getting thicker, because I was having to use heavier pony tail holders to pull it back. But... I didn't realize it had come back to the original texture of being baby fine and deceptively thick.

Ms. Stylist kept cutting and cutting, and fluffing and fluffing, and cutting more, and finally, she said, "Next hair cut, we're thinning this shit out!"

*dies laughing*

After we got home, the Impertinent One and I settled in for a "Bones" marathon while the Impossible Son went off to do boy things with his friend across the street, and the Husbandly One texted that he was going to have to work late.

Yeah, he was totally off buying my new SHINY!!!

*dance of joy, dance of joy*

Coolest. Husband. EVER.
auntbijou: (Golden-eyed Weasley)
Lying on a couch on the back porch, my head on the Husbandly One's chest, his arms around me as I listen to the sound of his heart under my ear while warm rain patters on the leaves and the grass around us and lightning flickers through the clouds... what could be better?

Nights like this are why I am a very happy woman.
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
So, after the Impossible Son's soccer practice, it was decided to head to our favorite local Tex-Mex restaurant, Mr. Taco. We were in the mood for fajitas, or at least the Husbandly One, the Impertinent Daughter, and I were. We have discovered that Mr. Taco's "fajitas for two" plate feeds the three of us nicely. The Impossible Son had his usual chicken strips, no gravy.

We forgot that Thursdays are live mariachi band night.

Did I mention there are all hard surfaces at Mr. Taco, with nothing to absorb sound?

o_O

Anyhow, yeah, it was loud, but the food was worth it! Once we'd eaten ourselves to a lull, the Impertinent One begged a pen off me, grabbed a clean napkin, and immediately began to sketch the mariachi band members, then took it to them before fleeing back to our table.



They passed it around among themselves, looking at it intently, then marched over to our table and serenaded her with "Just My Imagination," and a Spanish/English version of "I Just Called To Say I Love You."

Her smile was incandescent, and she giggled almost the entire time, hiding her face every once in a while, but mostly beaming at them with delight. I rubbed her back from time to time when it looked like she was getting overwhelmed, but mostly? She absolutely loved it!

I think she was also chuffed that two of the mariachi singers actually fought over who would get to sing to her! And if you've never seen a violinist and a trumpet player arguing over who is gonna sing to the pretty girl, then you have no idea what you missed!

I think she's just beginning to have an inkling of the doors her art can open for her. This is going to be an interesting journey to watch!
auntbijou: (Default)
Wow, has this year flown by or what?

It's been pretty cool having the Husbandly One home, and we've gotten a lot done over his vacation. We've rearranged the living room, and bought a shelving unit to go around the television that makes us feel more like grownups and less like college students making do with whatever they can find in garage sales and on curbs. Heh. What's nice about it is we've finally managed to corral the hordes of books, dvds, and games that seemed to be continually scattered around the living room with no set place to keep them, and what we did have was inadequate in the extreme.

It was also a good excuse to purge those movies and games nobody watches or plays.

Now if we can just figure out how to arrange the couches so that we can watch tv/play games without getting cricks in our necks, or cutting off the ability to walk straight from the front door to the kitchen, something of vital importance when one's arms are full of groceries. Normally, when we have a movie we want to watch, we just pull the big couch around and pile up on it and push it back to the wall when the movie is over. But sometimes, that's a pain in the neck.

We've also tossed out/gotten rid of things in the kitchens that were cluttering up the counters, and I did a major cleanout/reorganization of the cabinets last night. That was both awesome and terrifying. Awesome, because it felt good to see those shelves neatened up and with so much more room on them because of the stuff I threw out. Terrifying, because we had stuff in there from when we were first married, I kid you not! In fact, some of it was older than our marriage, stuff from my great-aunt's house that somehow just kept getting shoved in boxes and moved with us over the years. I mean, seriously, I found a bottle of Karo syrup that had to be nearly thirty years old!! We never use Karo syrup!! And I found the source of the odd little moths we keep finding fluttering around the house. It was in a canister of ancient anise seeds my great aunt must have bought years ago that was more caterpillar husks than it was seeds!! There was also a jar of rancid ground nutmeg that had ... fermented and smelled... eurgh!!! I mean, why was I keeping this stuff? WHY??

I think the last time I was that horrified, I was cleaning out the cabinets in my great aunt's house and found two cases full of vials of sheep's placenta that my great aunt had apparently been using to keep her skin soft and wrinkle free. One case had been half used, but she had economically put the empty vials back in place. I'd been finding those odd little glass vials all over the place and had been greatly mystified by them up until that point. YUCK!! I'd opened one and it smelled horrible, and I thought, well, that explains why she smelled the way she did.

*shudder*

So, it was wonderful to get rid of all of the out-dated stuff, the inexplicable stuff, and the just plain gross stuff.

Still have some stuff left to do, but I think we can tackle most of that on the weekends coming up. Definitely need to clear off the disaster area that is my computer desk. It's become it's own gravitational anomaly, I swear. Miss Impossible puts all her artwork on my desk, both kids put important papers there, the Husbandly One deposits things there, and of course, so do I, and right now, it's a jumbled mess. It's like a hoarder's house... just on a desk. Empty picture frames, drawings, my sketchbook, hand lotion, lens filters, various articles of clothing, packages, papers, papers, photos, more papers, drawings, pencils, pens, more papers, a POS camera, bottles, earrings, even more papers, boxes, books, more books, a few dvds, hats, even more books... I ought to take a panoramic shot of my desk just so y'all can see.

On second thought, I might be too embarrassed for y'all to see my desk.

Oh, what the hell... here...



Sad, isn't it?

*sigh*

I'm sure the mess is contributing to my writing issues. Yes, I'm still having writing issues. And let me tell you, it sucks. It sucks big time. I mean, I'm writing, I am, just... not anything I can post, really. My head is still crammed full of ideas that are literally just... screaming to get out. And... I just can't. I'm blocked, and it's frustrating. It's been, what, two years now?

And as I've mentioned before, I know what one of the principal causes is (not my desk), and I'm still having trouble moving beyond it. Because the doubts that were seeded have just... overgrown. I guess it's time for a huge mental weeding or something. I know I can write, and I know I'm pretty damn good at it. I even know what I'm good at writing, and you know what? The world has already had one Erma Bombeck, it doesn't need another, and I'm not her, anyway, so... no, I won't be writing that. I have my blog for humor writing, and that's just fine with me.

I mean, come on, I'm even having writer's block where my goddamned blog is concerned, let's not make it worse, all right?

So... mental weeding, and... mental floss, whatever it takes. But dammit, I need to write because it hurts not to!!

So... if I'm going to have any sort of list resembling a vague outline of New Year's Resolutions, this is what it would look like:

1.) Clean off toxic waste dump disaster area known as "desk" and create an art dump for the daughter.

2.) Write, dammit.

3.) Write more, dammit.

4.) Write and get paid for it, dammit!!!

There. I feel better now!

Heh heh heh...

Friday, December 16th, 2011 08:06 am
auntbijou: (Default)
Our marriage is twenty one years old today, and therefore, old enough to drink. The Husbandly One says we should take it out, get it drunk, and do wicked, naughty, evil things to it!!

*merry laughter*

He has the best ideas!!!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Photobucket

Well, in this picture, he kind of looks like him, don't you think?

*laughs*

It's the way his long hair is blowing in the wind, you know. And if you're wondering, that cute little fish was his catch of the night. He'd taken the kids salt water fishing for the first time, and while the Impossible Son caught the biggest fish of the night, and the Impertinent Daughter caught the second largest, the Husbandly One caught... the smallest. And no matter how hard he tried to catch something bigger, for the rest of the week, everything he caught was... pretty much the same size as that cute little Gulf cat in the picture. Heck, for all we know, it was the same fish the entire time, following him all around Rockport and Fulton, throwing itself shamelessly on his hook for one more look at its long haired hero! ♥ ♥ ♥!!

Oh, come on, I had to say it!

I find this an extraordinarily entertaining photo, on so many levels, and I'm proud of the Impertinent Daughter for taking it. She got a good shot of her papa!

I wanted to write more, but I'm just too tired to concentrate. School starts in three weeks, and... I can't wait.

auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
The Husbandly One has shaved off what little was left of his beard.

I say "what little was left" because his beard had been shrinking over the last few years, not from lack of hair, but because of personal comfort, I guess. When I met him twenty two years ago, he had a full beard, though it was neatly trimmed. He wore a beard, he told me at that time, because he got tired of having to shave twice a day.

Yes. THO's hair grows at a phenomenal rate. He could be clean-shaven on Friday, and be practically back to a full beard by Monday. Almost. I mean, look at two summers ago, when we had yet another triple digit summer, and he'd gotten tired of his long hair, saying it felt like he was wearing a wet mop on his head. He cut it short, then immediately regretted it. I told him to just not get it cut and by the same time next year, it would be the same length, and you know, that's exactly what happened.

*shakes head*

What's really funny is THO is the first man with a beard I'd ever dated. Oh, I'd been asked out by guys with face fungus, but... I always turned them down. Why? Well, I was always nervous around men with beards. Blame the Blonde Sister. Remember, she's thirteen years older than me. My parents treated my sisters, especially the Blonde Sister, as Built-In Babysitters™. They'd go out to some of the more adult focused American Legion Post events (my dad was a WWII vet), usually taking the Flaky Sister with them because she was "out," so to speak, and leave me with Blondie. You'd think she'd do kid oriented things like... read to me, play games, or just put me to bed and ignore me while she chatted on the phone to her boyfriend or something, right?

Nope.

See, she wasn't allowed to watch horror movies on TV when the folks were home, so, of course, when they were out, she'd pop popcorn and scan the TV guide for a horror movie and decide to watch it. However... she couldn't stand to watch them alone, so... she'd make me sit there and watch it with her!

Thus began three-year-old Auntie's unreasonable fears of giant radioactive ants, mirrors at night, being alone in the bathroom, fat cannabilistic women, slime, decorative ponds in the yard, extremely realistic statues, and last, but not least, bearded men.

Why bearded men? Because... bearded men always turned into werewolves!!

My parents never could understand why I would run and hide from bearded men, or why I would squeal in terror if any of them so much as tried to touch my hand. From the mailman to one of my dad's coworkers who was really a very nice man who loved children and was always building the most fantastic toys for his coworkers' kids, it didn't matter. I was utterly convinced all men with beards, with one notable exception, were potential werewolves who, despite how nice they seemed, were actually drooling at the thought of a delicious child to munch on. Even one as skinny and scrawny as me.

The notable exception, by the way, was Santa Claus. Santa was safe I mean, he didn't have a bushy beard! It was long, luxuriant, and soft!! There was no way on Earth SANTA could be a werewolf!!

So, it's pretty funny, when you think about it, that I met THO and fell in love after five minutes of conversation!

After we'd been dating for a while, THO, who was working for the university we met at, wanted a better paying job and had an interview come up for a position at the campus library. He told me about it, and warned me he was going to have to shave his beard off. And I was like, "Okay, no problem," not really thinking about what it meant, because I was busy with classes at the time. And he said he would come by my parents' house to let us know how it went afterwards.

So, I'm at Mom's, deep in a project for my graphics class and was dragging her to look at it for an independent opinion when a strange man walks up to the front door. My parents rarely kept the front door closed. They had a storm door that they kept locked but open for light. So I see a strange man walk up and grab the storm door handle to just... walk in!! I went into full battle mode, pushing Mom behind me and rushing to the door to ... I dunno, smash him with a lamp? His eyes went wide and he said, in THO's voice, "What is the matter with you??"

I froze and said slowly, "THO???"

And he said, "Who else were you expecting??"

He looked like a complete and total stranger!!! He looked so... utterly different without a beard!!! And... I didn't like it one single bit!! It was a good thing his beard grew back in fast!!

So... a few days ago he said, "I think I'm just going to have to start going clean-shaven."

And I thought, "Oh, he's finally had enough at work," because he's been pretty miserable at his job over the six months, but he's kept at it because... it's a job, it's secure, and he's not crazy. So I said, "Oh, you're thinking of job interviews?"

"No," he said. "I've got a lot of silver in my beard and... it's depressing. So... I'm just gonna shave it off."

Heh. Well, I know what he means. I have a silver streak coming up in the cowlick over my forehead, and the other day, I was twisting up my hair into a bun and was stunned to how much it had grown, and that I had another one starting in front of my ear. Of course, I feel like I earned those silver hairs, thanks to my two harum-scarums, but I will admit to a moment of thinking, "Maybe it's time to start coloring my hair..."

*snorts*

Anyhow, it's ... strange... seeing THO without a beard. In all the years we've been married, the only times he's been beardless has been when he's gone on job interviews, a total of maybe... five times. And that was only for a few days.

And that beard was getting progressively smaller, too. First a full beard. Then it was trimmed nearly to his jawline, a sort of short boxed beard. That lasted a few years. Then after we moved here, it became a sort of Van Dyke. And over the last few years, it was sort of a ... minimalist Van Dyke, trimmed very short and almost non-existent until the end of the day when it had grown back.

And now it's gone. It feels very strange to kiss him and not have bristles brushing against my face. In fact, it feels like I'm having an affair!! I'm kissing a naked face that feels totally unfamiliar, and I have to open my eyes to make sure it's THO I'm kissing and not, say, Raul, the cabana boy.

Not that we have a cabana, but you know what I mean!

I'll get used to it, and I've stopped giggling when I kiss him, but just barely.

I kinda miss my Curly Wolf, though...

Pouty McPout Pout

Monday, May 30th, 2011 10:43 am
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
The Husbandly One had to go in to work today.

Dammit, I was looking forward to grilled burgers!!

DO NOT LIKE!!!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
Remember THIS?

Well, my patience has been rewarded! I have successfully pranked my husband... again!!

I switched out his Buckwheat Zydeco "Ya Ya" ringtone with... a Tarzan yell. Just... the yell. Which plays over and over as the phone "rings."

*falls over laughing*

I did it while he was in the shower this morning.

At least this year, I didn't email friends and family to call him all day, as I didn't want to irritate his boss. But... OH JOY!!!

He's going to be so paranoid next year!!!

*is full of glee*

Fun fun fun PLAY!!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010 12:46 pm
auntbijou: (Voldie Santa)
I'm trying not to be bummed. The Husbandly One was only supposed to go in for half a day of work today, but after he got there, he discovered he had to work a full day after all.

*sob*

OH well.

Let's see... Christmas... didn't post about that, did I? Well, Christmas Eve, my best friend and her family came over for dinner, and we had a great time reconnecting, and I was able to reassure myself that her oldest son was indeed whole, hearty, and did not suffer unduly during his time in Iraq... yes, yes, I know, but I was there when he was born, so he's like one of my kids, and it's not entirely logical, it's a mom-anxiety thing.

Anyhow, we had a good time, talking, laughing, eating, and reconnecting, and after they were gone, the Husbandly One talked me into letting the kids open one present.

Normally, we don't do this. And I have to admit, we have been unduly nice to the kids where presents are concerned, because we don't torture them by wrapping them up ahead of time and setting them under the tree where they are visible, and mysterious, and totally unknown for two weeks!! No, we've always kept them hidden until Christmas morning.

Of course, mostly, this was because we had a Labrador Retriever who couldn't stand seeing wrapped presents for his kids under the tree, and he would most thoughtfully unwrap them, and then start barking happily until the kids came running (and toddling) to see why...

Don't even get me started on what the Triplicats did.

So... no wrapped presents under the tree. My parents, of course, were the type who would wrap presents even before we had the tree, and start setting them out where the tree would eventually be.... just to torture us!! Then there's the Husbandly One, who wrapped my engagement ring in a small box and made it into an ornament on my parent's tree, just to torture me for two weeks, until he proposed to me in front of my entire family on Christmas Eve.

So, anyway, we put our presents under the tree Christmas Eve morning, and you'd think we had done it just to torture the Impossible Son specifically!! Heh. Anyhow, I had stood firm against opening before Christmas, but then THO said, "Look, the gifts I got you and the Impertinent One are the kind that... you should open tonight, and that's all I will say about that."

So...we each opened one present on Christmas Eve. And the Impertinent One and I both got... iPod Touches.

*SQUEE!!*

Okay, so the reason he wanted us to open them early was so we could get them set up for the trip into Houston on Christmas. Logical.

Now, the thing I have to say here is that setting up the Impertinent One's iPod was far too easy, and that should have told me something. It took 34 minutes to download the update for the thing, which should have also set my alarm bells ringing, but it only took five minutes to download music and a couple of videos into it, and she was done, off to her room to explore it and squee over it.

It took less than a minute to download the update for mine. But... it took fifteen hours for me to set my iPod up.

No, I'm serious. Techno-geek that I am, the thing frustrated the crap out of me, and I had THO hovering around behind me, determined that it was busted, broken, didn't work, etc. and I just needed to give up on the damn thing and let him return it.

I knew that whatever the problem was, it was ME, not the iPod, and I just needed to keep playing with it to figure it out. And when I did, it was one of those, "D'oh!" kind of things, where you can't believe you were so stupid, but then again, why was loading this thing so much more complicated than loading a Shuffle??

Anyhow, finally got the thing working, and I was a very happy camper.

And no, we didn't go to Houston. Mainly because Mr. Impossible woke up with a very nasty, very juicy cough, and knowing that he usually has a nasty, very juicy cough when we're leaving Houston, we decided not to push things toward, oh, I dunno... pneumonia, perhaps?

So, we stayed home.

And, let's see, on Tuesday night, the Impertinent One was working on a drawing at the kitchen table while listening to her new iPod, gets up to go get an eraser from her room, comes right back, and her iPod is off. Fine, she thinks it's in sleep mode, so she presses the menu button and... nothing. She presses the power button, and... nothing. It still had half a charge left, so she brought it to me, I plugged it into the computer and... nothing. She plugged it into her charger, and ... nothing. It was deader than a doornail.

Turns out some of the functions it had hadn't been working so well, either. Oooookay, well, THO had it insured through Best Buy, so we took it in yesterday to have it looked at... and ended up exchanging it for a new one because... it was deader than a doornail.

So, when we get home, she goes to the Mac to set it up, the update takes less than a minute, and I leave her to set it up, only to have to come back running when I hear her wail, "NO, WAIT, WHY ARE YOU DOWNLOADING MUSIC??? I HAVEN'T MADE A PLAYLIST YET!!!"

Wow, did that sound familiar!

Since I had already figured this out, it only took a couple of tries to get things working properly, and now she has a fully functional iPod that everything works on just fine. Heh.

Let's see... what else... oh, yeah, we went and saw "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" at our local theater, using the movie passes we'd won last month. And it was better than I expected. What really made it fun, though, was how excited the Impossible Son was, because he'd just finished reading the book recently. I was glad they'd stuck a little closer to the book this time, if only for his sake, because he didn't get scared or upset when things got scary (YES, my son, knowledge IS power!!), and when it did deviate from the book, he looked at me and said, "I totally get it now, Mom."

"Totally get what?" I asked, distracted.

"Why you get so upset when a movie isn't like the book. Why sometimes, the book is so much better." He nodded. "I get it now."

I nodded. "Yep. So, what do you do now?"

"Let go of the book," he said with a grin.

That's my boy!!

I'm sure there's vastly more stuff, but really, how much of the minutia of my life do you want here?

I'm going to pull out my DVD of The Quiet Man, make some popcorn, and settle in to warp my kids some more. Heh.
auntbijou: (Devilish)
The Husbandly One walked into the bedroom and started taking off his shirt, which immediately got my attention, and he said, "I'm going to pop into a quick shower, and after I get dressed," he gives me a conspiratorial wink, "you and me are gonna get some wrapping done."

I snort, because he was torturing the kids with this yesterday, and on a whim, I say, "Okay, but I have to tell you, I'm not very good at making up rhymes on the fly." (Auntie, deliberately misunderstanding THO in order to make a very bad pun.)

"You are pretty fly, though," he said with a grin and disappeared into the bathroom, tossing his shorts out the door behind him just to torture me.

Heh, heh, heh... we're awful!
auntbijou: (Devilish)
We went for our usual weekend trip to the San Marcos library last Saturday, and I picked up a book that looked intriguing when I skimmed through it. Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir.

I thought, Okay, cool, I like historical novels from time to time. Call it a guilty pleasure, but if it's well written, fine... and I checked it out.

And it was... so-so, for the first seventeen pages. And then... the first sex scene came up and I thought, OMG, I can't read het anymore!!

O.O

But, I made myself keep going, then frowned and went back and read the sex scene again, because what followed kinda didn't make sense, and I had to be sure, and then I realized... it wasn't that I can't read het anymore. It's that I can't read badly written het anymore!

Y'all have turned me into a >gasp!< porn snob.

... Eleanor could not stop herself. With a muted cry she went to him, herself pulling his braies down to reveal his engorged penis. She was cherishing it in both hands when Henry's strong arms folded around her, crushing her against him as he pressed urgent lips to her forehead, and then sought her mouth. His fingers, rough with calluses from riding, were tugging at the embroidered neckline of her robe, pulling it down around her hips, then grasping her upper arms to hold her away from him as he stared at her full breasts. Then he bent and released the robe, which fluttered to the floor around her ankles, leaving her standing there naked before him...


]\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ *there, Muta decided to write some slash for you, just to make up for the stuff you just read. Isn't he a sweet cat?*

Anyhow, I decided not to torture subject you to the awfulness of the rest of it. The Impertinent One wants me to pick out bits and pieces to tear apart, but... I don't think I want to work that hard for this book, know what I mean?

What it really makes me want to do is go back to the library and pick up some biographies on Eleanor of Aquitaine and... bleach my brain of the drivel that was in this book. I mean, y'all, I was skipping ahead, trying to get past the awfulness, because the part of me that loves books was utterly convinced that there was something better ahead, and... it just wasn't happening!!

After I'm done with this, I'm either going to pick The Red Pyramid back up, or Down to the Sea: A Epic Story of Naval Disaster and Heroism in World War II by Bruce Henderson. That should work as a brain cleanser, don't you think?

Or I'll go back to working on earrings and such, finishing up for Christmas with the family.

Or I'll watch more Stargate Atlantis on Netflix, if I can get away with it.

I'm also getting used to having both of the kids and the Husbandly One in my back pocket again. His company closes down for two weeks at Christmas, and it's a paid two weeks, so that's all good. This means I'm not alone with the little monsters we get to spend some quality family time together, and do things, like going to see Christmas lights, or shopping, or seeing movies, etc. Or a massive shoveling out extreme house cleaning, since he's available to move things that I can't.

Then there's my plan for World Domination Through Cookies. Definitely have to work on that one.

Okay, well, the natives are getting restless, so... I need to find a better place to hide get up and get busy! Good Solstice to you all!
auntbijou: (Voldie Santa)
*hugs internets very hard*

Oh, how I missed you yesterday!!! The city was doing some work on a road they're... pretty much constantly working on (see "Great Unfinished Works"), and they cut AT&T's lines and pretty much lost the internet for the whole damn town. That's the third time they've done that this month, the idiots.

*grumbles*

Hmmmm... Thanksgiving. Well, the food was good this time. This, of course, was because Mom pretty much did the cooking herself, with assistance from the Flaky Sister. Mom was sort of worn out and after some discreet questioning, I found it was because Mom would hop up and run to defend the food every time she saw the Flaky Sister with a salt shaker or a stick of butter in her hand. That's not easy when you're 83 and arthritic, but Mom's pretty spry and energetic when she has good cause!

It went well, and I had a lot of fun getting to know Second Oldest Niece's brand new husband (ooooo, shiny!!) and have come to the conclusion that when the Husbandly One gets over his stand-offish, how-dare-you-marry-my-niece thing, he and New Hubby will get along famously and be as thick as thieves. I foresee many epic pranks in the making!

Hmmm, I think from here on out, I shall call Second Oldest Niece "Coach Niece" (because she's a high school softball coach) and her husband shall be henceforth called... "Mr. Coach." Because... he's married to her, and... he's a coach. Yeah, yeah, I know, how original, but hey, it works!

ANYHOW, Thanksgiving went well, without the usual family drama that seems to be the norm, thanks to Oldest Niece whom we sometimes term Scary Niece for good reason. Well, during the main event, that is. She saved the drama for after mostly everyone had gone except for THO and I, and Coach Niece and her husband. I won't go into it except to say that fortunately, she is still scared of me and needs my good opinion (which she lost a long time ago, but we don't need to tell her that, do we?), so it only took my voicing my disapproval to put a stop to things.

After she and her family had fled from Auntie's fury gone home, THO and I had settled in to get ready for bed, since we were spending the night. However, being weather obsessed, I made the mistake of checking the weather report for home on my Blackberry, and ended up on Mom's computer, accessing the local Weatherbug and then checking the local weather report.

When we'd left for Mom's, Austin's weather forecast was for a low of 45 (7.2 C), so the Husbandly One hadn't bothered putting on the heater (the high for the day was in the eighties) since we'd be back the next day.

However...

The updated forecast predicted a low of 32 to 25 (0 to -3 C ), which meant we needed to worry about the cats and the water pipes. The cats, because even though they're indoors, the house does get cold when the heater isn't on, and the pipes, because our house is up off the ground on a pier and beam foundation. Pier and beam foundations are common in the South, because it's hot here eight to nine months of the year, and allowing air to circulate under the floor keeps the house cooler. However, this means during the winter, the floors can be freezing cold if not properly insulated, and if your pipes aren't protected/insulated, they'll freeze and burst. Most of the time, this isn't a problem if your heater is on!

What did this mean?

It meant we had to pack up everything and ... go back home. After 10 p.m.

*head-desk*

You'd think after living out here for 14 years, we'd have learned not to trust the weatherman, right? I mean, when we lived in the 21 House, we pretty much accepted that during the winter, it would be 10 degrees colder than whatever the predicted low was, and during the summer, it would be 5 to 10 degrees hotter. If they said mild to moderate thunderstorms, we'd get a tornado. I mean, you'd think I'd remember that, right? HA!

*makes a rude noise*

The Impossible Son was not happy with us at all, and almost inconsolable at having to leave. He was sooo looking forward to spending the night, and getting up to make breakfast for Grandma (we have decided, as a family, that the Flaky Sister is not allowed even remotely near the kitchen when we are visiting), and being able to talk to her and... *sigh* The Impertinent Daughter wasn't happy either, but she understood and made an effort not to make things harder for Grandma (or me), and we loaded ourselves in the minivan and headed home.

You know, a long drive becomes even longer when it's late at night and... you have no caffeine. I felt obligated to stay awake to help the Husbandly One stay awake (since he was driving) and as moral support. Don't know how supportive I was, because I kept nodding off and waking up abruptly when we'd hit a bump, or I'd dream there was an elephant in the road ahead that we were about to hit, or have tea with, or something like that. I wasn't very talkative but then, my dad had years of conditioning my sisters and me not to talk in the car, so... it's not unusual that I was quiet.

The kids made up for my lack for about the first hour, but soon, the road hypnotized them into a sleepy daze, and it seemed only THO had the iron will to stay awake, thank goodness!

What was odd to us was driving into town finally around 12:45 or so, and the THO rousing us from our stupor with, "Wow, would you look at that!"

So we did. It was the local WalMart, which isn't unusual in itself, but... the parking lot was packed all the way to the highway. I mean, every single parking space was taken, and it had overflowed into the parking lot next door. That store must have been positively crammed to bursting with people! In all the years that I have lived here, I have never seen the local WalMart parking lot that full. Ever.

It was all for Black Friday, which it technically was since it was after midnight.

But... WalMart??? Seriously??

Anyhow, we made it home, crashed face-first into our beds, and slept the sleep of the just. Or at least, the just-got-homes.

Oh, and by the way, we resigned from the soccer board. Finally. Yeah, it was a long time coming, but when one of our board members told me to make sure to get a USB drive and download all the meeting minutes into it, the Husbandly One realized that there was going to be a move to either get me removed as secretary, or him as president, because we're viewed by this one particular person as a "voting block," never mind that I don't always vote with THO because I don't always agree with him. Funny thing is, I never wanted to be secretary, and would have gladly given it up to whoever else wanted it but... there was nobody else to take it. Seems this person also wasn't too thrilled about me being secretary because I'm "too outspoken," and never had a problem shutting him down, or telling him he was wrong and how precisely he was wrong, or keeping him from veering board discussions too far off track.

Apparently, I'm not supposed to do that.

And one of the other board members attempted to start a flame war of emails, which THO doused very quickly, but that was it for him. He said, "How sad is it to get an email from a board member who berates everyone for being unprofessional, and then turns around and calls us all losers? How unprofessional is that?? You know what? I'm done with that." And that was that.

So, he sent out an email to the board saying we were resigning, effective immediately, which gets us out of having to go to the last board meeting of the year, and means we don't have to be there for board elections or any of that bally-hoo. Which makes me very happy, because this means I don't have to sit there and practically bludgeon everyone into agreeing on set dates for spring registration, and times, and settle Miss Eileen down when she starts getting all wound up because this is soooo different from how it was done before, and fussing about kids using the same jerseys from last season and will the numbers not be duplicated, and what about the sponsor names, and...

... I don't have to do that anymore? OH... wow, I feel so... light!!

Yes, I'm enjoying this far too much!

Okay, I've rambled on long enough. Time for me to go wash some dishes, yo!
auntbijou: made by <lj comm=lvlwings_icons> (Delicious Hot Schmoes!)
When I sat down at the computer this morning with a bowl of cereal in hand, ready to do my morning reading, I went to today's Dear Abby. It opened with an oddly familiar letter that I frowned at, and it wasn't until I had read the following letters that I realized why.

It was because "Very, Very Happy Wife in Texas" is... me.

*laughs and blushes*

Hey, it was a letter written in early September by a woman in Hawaii that made me do it!!

Of course, I immediately emailed the Husbandly One a link and waited to see what he would say, and of course, he was all, "That's about me??? I LOVE YOU!!!" and a very goofy and yet entirely affectionate series of texts followed!

I very much appreciate the fact that the Husbandly One is "fun-sized." So am I, if it comes to that. I like the fact that I don't have to get a crick in my neck to look up at him, or cramps in my legs from standing up on tippy toes just to kiss him. Been there, done that.

*is full of mischief*

The kids are back in school after having missed a few days earlier in the week, thanks to a sinus infection (the Impertinent One) and an upper respiratory infection with a high fever (the Impossible One). I'm glad they're better, because having two limp noodle people around the house is no fun. Not to mention the amount of ice tea and soup we go through!


*still has her mind on her fun-sized husband*

Oh, and hey, [personal profile] luvscharlie, guess what? I just finished The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. It's awesome!! You're going to love it!!

*squees*

And I also want to thank [profile] kathrynthegr8 for the toy car!! VROOM VROOM!!! Just what I needed!! It's AWESOME!! How'd you know??

Oh, I'm too scattered tonight to make a substantial post, so, I'll close now. Goodnight, all!!

WHEEEEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 11:29 am
auntbijou: (Golden-eyed Weasley)
I want to thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes! And thank you, [profile] lusiology for the cake! Hee!!

And you should all be very, very proud of me. I started walking again a couple of weeks ago, and I managed to walk a mile today!! YAY!! Once I work myself back up to five miles, I'll start running again.

I'm kinda tired of being "pleasantly plump."

We've had all kinds of adventures over the last week around here. Friday night, we had friends over, so I spent most of the week tidying things up, and Friday morning, while I was picking up shoes, socks, books, and other detritus that the kids tend to leave all over the floor, tables, couches, etc, I discovered the desiccated remains of... the gods only know what. Might have been a mouse, might have been an unfortunate member of the spiny lizard tribe... who knows. So, after about ten minutes of squeamishness and, "oh, ugh... blech... why am I always the one finding this stuff," among other complaints, I picked it up carefully and disposed of it. Found a few more, got rid of them, and thought that was it.

However, once our guests arrived, I noticed R kept wrinkling her nose, though she was trying to be subtle about it, and I thought, "Oh, great, there's probably more of whatever it was that I didn't find, and now it smells... wonderful."

We never smelled it, even after going outside and coming back in.

Then Saturday morning, I got up and shuffled into the kitchen for caffeine to wake my brain up... and beat a hasty retreat back to the bedroom, gagging and wheezing.

Seriously, guys, you shouldn't have to think, "Dear gods, what the hell crawled into my house and died," before you've even had enough caffeine to be even semi human.

A frantic search of the house narrowed it down to the kitchen/living room/utility room. But practically tearing those rooms up revealed nothing, and we had soccer to deal with, both with the Impossible Son having a game, and the Impertinent Daughter refereeing a U6 game. *sudden LOL at the thought of the "Impertinent Referee"*

Except... I started itching like crazy while we were out there, EVEN THE INSIDE OF MY MOUTH!!! WTF????

We came home, where Auntie ingested mass quantities of Benadryl and passed out for the afternoon, thus enabling the Husbandly One to take the kids shopping at WalMart and stopping by a local resale shop to buy a 10 speed bike for himself (for $20).

This is relevant, trust me.

I woke up and was hustled outside so he could show off his acquisition. Not quite with it, I nodded, and watched him ride it around, and tried to be properly impressed. However, being in a Benadryl haze, I probably didn't succeed too well at this wifely duty. THO decided this bike, being a Bianchi (???), should go in the garage. So... he opened it up...

... and we all promptly staggered back, coughing, gagging, eyes watering, and flailing as we struggled to find the edge of the Funk Zone for some badly needed oxygen.

OMG... whatever it was... it was in... the ... garage.

The garage. Filled with boxes. And boxes. And boxes of... unpacked stuff from our last move.

Pity the Husbandly One. We all abandoned him to the thankless job of shifting the boxes to find ... The Corpse.

Of course, there was a corpse. There had to be a corpse. With a funk that strong? Honey!!

And... it was. It was the corpse of... a possum.

*pauses while [profile] eloquent_toast cries out in dismay*

We knew a family of possums had taken up residence either under our deck or in the bamboo of the backyard. Evidently, this particular possum found his way into the garage... but couldn't find his way out.

The Husbandly One removed le dead opossum and disposed of him/her/it properly, then sprinkled cat litter over the spot to dry it up and deodorize.

Eurgh.

Sunday, we needed to run into Austin to a Men's Wearhouse to get the Impossible Son fitted for a tuxedo. He is going to be an usher in my second oldest niece's wedding. And he is going to look unbelievably cute! And hell, yes, I'm going to take pictures!!

It was at the moment that we were walking out of the store that I suddenly realized...

1.) This was going to be a formal wedding.

2.) This was going to be a very formal wedding.

3.) One cannot wear the very casual clothing I have to a formal wedding.

4.) I have to go shopping, for myself, and for the Impertinent One for clothes for a formal wedding.

5.) I have no idea what the hell to get.

Y'all already know, right, that I am absolutely hopeless at shopping for myself? That I should not be allowed to buy clothes for myself, because I am pathetic at it?

You see the problem?

I was not mentally prepared to shop for clothes. It did not go well. One should not bring a 9 year old boy along to shop for clothes when one is trying to get used to the idea of shopping for clothes again.

It did not end well.

I also realized that I have completely lost my "shopping at department stores" skills. The Husbandly One is dreadfully spoiled, y'all. I don't shop for clothes all the time, and when I do, it tends to be jeans and such, and sneakers. Because I don't shop for shoes like I used to, either. And I don't shop for makeup. Which... I need to, now. Ugh.

And I have until the 16th.

*flail*

Needless to say, I'm doing my research now. And plan to hit either San Marcos or Austin's Barton Creek Mall this weekend for clothes. Hopefully, the Impertinent Daughter will keep me from making a frump of myself.

And, the Impossible Son had a project due this week. They're reading A Paradise Called Texas by Janice Jordan Shefelman in his class, and the students were required to build a model ship based on the Margaretha, the ship in the book that took German immigrants to Texas. It's both a test grade and a reading grade for the class.

Fortunately, I knew about this several weeks ago, so I'd been gathering materials beforehand to get ready. We built it out of two 12-pack soda can boxes, one for the body of the ship, one, cut into two pieces, for the poop deck and forecastle, and two cardboard tubes that came from boxes of parchment paper for the masts. A pencil was used for the mast that juts out from the bow of the ship, and I drew the figurehead that hung below it. We worked on it for three days, and it turned out to be absolutely awesome! Plus, made from recycled materials, YAY!! Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of it before it was taken to school. Blame fatigue and not enough caffeine!

And now, I must get ready to get my hair cut. It is time. Since my hair is growing back, thanks to the new meds, it is getting very thick. While the curl hasn't come back, it still has a mind of its own, so the best way to deal with it is to cut it into submission. It's already getting long enough to bother me, and I know my stylist is going to fuss at me again for not coming in every six weeks. Well... sometimes I can, and... sometimes I can't. That's the life of a busy mom for you!

See you later!

*goes off merrily on her way*

And off we go!!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 01:07 am
auntbijou: (Default)
The Husbandly One is whisking yours truly and the kids for a few days at the beach. We're headed for Rockport again, but minus the visit to the Mold Hotel.

This time, we're staying at Holiday Inn Express. It may not be picturesque, but it'll be clean, and I can breathe, two very important requirements in Auntie's Vacation Book. Maybe after we get to know Rockport better, we can try a beach house, and get away from the corporate stuff. I have very good memories of my Aunt Maud's beach house in Crystal Beach, Texas, which was washed away when Ike hit back in 2008. It wasn't ornate or overly full of conveniences. It was built at a time when "modern conveniences" meant a stove, a fridge, running water, and an indoor toilet.

It had an outdoor shower.

There was no ground floor, except for that shower, and an under-house patio of sorts where there were picnic tables and hammocks strung to catch the breeze. The second floor was one large central room, which had the kitchen, with a small table (because you mostly ate outside), and a "living area" that was mostly twin beds disguised to look like couches. And there was a small bathroom and shower just off the kitchen, and a large pantry that held not only food, but an endless supply of beach towels and blankets for the sand.

And on three sides of that main room was a deep, screened in balcony/porch. About two and a half feet up from the floor was wall, and then the rest of the way up to the ceiling was screen. There were canvas flaps rolled up everywhere to let down if there was rain, because... there were no bedrooms. You slept on that porch. That porch had nearly ten beds at intervals, mostly twins, but there were two full sized beds, and everyone slept on the porch with only the lightest of covers, because there was no air conditioning. You stayed cool by being out on the sleeping porch or out in the water. That was it.

Wow, I didn't mean this to turn into a stroll down memory lane! Anyhow, the basic gist of this is, we'll be gone for a few days, so... I'll be lucky if I get so much as a peep at the f-list!

See you when I get back!!

Toodle-oo!!

Auntie
auntbijou: (Angry Chibi Auntie!!)
The Husbandly One is in San Marcos having sinus surgery...

... and I'm here at home, because the Impertinent Daughter is running a fever with a very sore throat!

The agony of being pulled in two directions at once... AAAAUUGHH!!!
auntbijou: (Calcifer)
Or maybe I should have titled it "The Angst of Auntie."

*sigh*

Where do I even begin? Life has been... difficult. And for the stupidest of reasons. I can't go fully into it, but suffice it to say, I think that the Husbandly One and I are going to be most definitely resigning our positions on the soccer board. The past five months have been... hard.

We have a person on the board who... if we had known ahead of time what we know now, we would not have voted him on. And one of the present board members, who has not been on the board as long as we have, has a great deal of... emotional investment in this person. Quite a few of us on the board think the person is... not entirely honest, and poses a serious risk to the board and the organization, but the board member is adamant that it is all lies, libel, etc, and has told us any move on our part to have this person removed would result in legal action against us.

There is nothing in our bylaws that will allow us to get rid of this person, save catching him red-handed with his hand in the cookie jar. Which I personally suspect is not long in coming.

In the meantime, THO and I are being accused of having a "personal bias" against this person, and THO has been told he has "control issues."

This, right in the middle of our trying to deal with the city and the issues with the fields (the city wants to "disk" our fields, which would totally and completely screw them up, not to mention wrecking the sprinkler heads on the irrigation system WE installed). We were going to resign at the end of this season anyway, because the Impertinent Daughter has gone as far as she can go in this league. We don't have enough kids to field a U15 and up team in the fall. We never have. So, that means we need to go to a league in San Marcos, or New Braunfels, or gods help us, Austin. And if we have to take one kid to practice in another town, it seems ridiculous to leave the other to play here. Might as well move both of them and not have to try to go to two different practices in two different towns, and then two different sets of games on the weekends. And if our kids aren't playing in the league, then there's really no point in us being on the board, since we will be basically running hither and yon anyway. There just won't be time for it. So, maybe this was our wake-up call that it's time to move on.

In other news, I have the sinking feeling that the 8th grade principal at the junior high is well on her way to some sort of mental breakdown. That or the sweet smiles I've graced her with whenever I'm at the junior high are finally shredding her nerves!

I quote from the Impertinent Daughter's journal on DeviantArt...

"I got nothing else to really report.

Oh, no wait... the principal is going all psychotic about the dress code again.

So after giving us some other crazed up lecture and making everyone late for class, she released the boys but held the girls back. Then she told the custodians to close the doors in the cafeteria so no one could get into the cafeteria. At that point I was getting worried. But then she started on a rant about how the girls were wearing too low-cut shirts (I don't) and that we weren't supposed to do that and that we will get in trouble if we do. Then she started to complain about us wearing short shorts and told us again that we COULD NOT WEAR SHORTS THAT DON'T TOUCH OUR KNEES. Not even a CENTIMETER above the knee. No. Then she started complaining about how we use our jackets to hide low cut shirts or we hold our binders in front of our chests to hide the low cut shirts. I swear, if she could outlaw jackets from the dress code she would. And the way she went on about all of this made it seem like we were doing illegal drugs instead of breaking a few slight dress code rules. Ugh. I hate her so much. "

They were ten minutes late to their next class.

And this doesn't include the lecture she was giving the kids about talking, etc.

Oh, haven't I mentioned, the majority of the kids lunch periods is taken up with Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere and Principal Noodlehead lecturing the kids from the stage? Oh yes, with microphones and everything. "You need to think about the decisions you make, you must make appropriate decisions or you will be left behind, or worse, find yourself in a place you never imagined." "There is too much talking and not enough eating going on in here!" "You need to change your behavior, blah, blah, blah, blah..." which is pretty much what it degenerates into. I am stunned every single time I walk into that school to hear one of those two women droning into the microphone or haranguing them for something: "you over there! You need to stop clumping up and stand on the blue line! Stand on the blue line for the lunch line, stop cutting and talking! Do you hear me over there? STAND ON THE BLUE LINE OR I'LL TAKE AWAY YOUR SWIM DAY PRIVILEGES!!"

This goes on every single school day, for all three lunch periods!! And personally? I think they are massively counterproductive.

The good news is... they are not going to be returning to the junior high in the fall. The bad news is, we have 30 more days of this shit to live through.

What I tremble to find out is... where are they going next? Because Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere keeps getting removed from the junior high, then a year or two later, turns up at one of the other schools like a bad penny only to be removed by the virulent and furious insistence of the parents... whereupon they ship her back to the junior high.

Which means she'll be back by the time the Impossible Son makes it to the junior high.

Personally, I'm thinking of shooting an email to the school board president and saying something along the lines of, "I think Mrs. Sees-Plots-Everywhere is getting close to a mental breakdown. Her OCD is going into over-drive, and I'm worried for the welfare of the students. Granted, she's only got 30 more days to go, but enough is enough, get the crazy bitch out of there."

Of course, I would word it a bit more tactfully and diplomatically than that, being the awesome writer that I am.

I'm sorry, but spending ten minutes haranguing the girls about the length of their shorts, and whether or not they are wearing "low-cut" shirts is... too much time.

This is one of those times when small-town life loses its appeal.Life
auntbijou: (icon by <lj user="odyssey">)
So, I was listening to this earlier today. It's President Lyndon Baines Johnson, ordering some custom-made lightweight slacks from Hagger, and while I was cracking up at him saying, "Leave me about an inch from where the zipper ends around under my... back to my bunghole," it was something else that he said that got me all thoughtful and wandering around in my memory.

Ol' LBJ has a very strong Central Texas accent, which is something I've gotten used to hearing since I've lived here, though I think it got softened somewhat during his years in Washington, D.C. It got my attention, though, when he asked that they add about an inch to the side pockets, because whenever he sat down, "my knife and my money fall out." And boy, wasn't that a familiar complaint, because my dad used to say that all the time after he moved out of the oil fields and into the office, a change which required him to wear suits and dress slacks. The pockets weren't deep enough to hold his change, his keys, and his jackknife, and my mom usually ended up at her sewing machine, with his suit trousers over her lap, pinning extra fabric to the pockets to make them deeper. Because in the South that my dad grew up in, a man was never caught without his jackknife in his pocket.

A jackknife was sacred.

What's a jackknife?

Well, I don't know how it is up north, but most men from the southern half of this country used to carry what we called a jackknife or a pocket knife with them everywhere they went, and they weren't used for defense or for cuttin' somebody up bad, etc. They were used to do little things, like... sharpen a pencil, or cut the gordian knot most little kids manage to mangle their shoelaces into when they're first learning to tie their shoes, or pick out a splinter in the same kid's foot because Daddy let them run around barefoot, because they couldn't tie their shoes any more, etc. It could be used to cut string for bundling newspapers together, or the tip of the blade could be used as a makeshift screwdriver when that little screw that holds the ear piece to one's glasses fell out, or to cut a blooming rose from the rosebush in the front yard to give the elderly lady from across the street who'd come over to give the family the cookies she'd just baked. Need a fishing pole? Daddy would whip out his jackknife, cut a tree branch, then cut some string, pry apart a paperclip to bend into a hook, and there you go. Were you misbehaving? Out would come the knife to cut a switch from the hazel bush so Mom could apply it in the way she deemed most effective.

It was sort of an everyman's tool of the trade. You'd see them pulled out in barbecue joints to slice sausage into small pieces for little ones to nibble, or into chunks for chewing. Or to cut a plug of tobacco for chewing (EWWWWW!!!). I remember watching one of my great uncles whipping it out and using it to pry a rock out of a horseshoe when his horse started limping, and then wiping it on his pants before cutting a chunk off an apple to reward the same horse for her patience. You don't see them much any more. Especially in these days of heightened airport security.

My dad got me one for my thirteenth birthday, and I was very proud of it, too, even though I'm not a boy. I guess he got tired of me asking to borrow his all the time when I needed to put a new hook on my fishing line! I still have it, though I don't use it any more, because it's very fragile now. But, I have a Swiss Army Card Knife that the Husbandly One got for me about ten or fifteen years ago, which I keep in my purse. It's not the same thing, but I use it for just about everything when I'm out and about.

It's kind of weird, I admit, to walk by the little shelf where the Husbandly One puts all the things that he keeps in his pocket; wallet, keys, phone... but there's no jackknife. I'm used to it now, but... it just seems like such a husbandly, fatherly sort of item, and it's odd not to see it there.

And I remember after my father had died, and one of the first times I went back to the house where I'd grown up after the funeral, I was walking toward Mom's room, and hesitated, because right there, on the sideboard by the door, behind the photo of my nephew... there was my dad's little pile of things. Wallet, keys, assorted change, odd little items he'd either picked up, or been given by friends... and his jackknife. Yeah, it made me tear up.

And do you know, when I went to Mom's new house, I walked into her bedroom and there on her dresser, in "his" corner, his little pile of things. Wallet, keys, change, odd little objects... and his jackknife.

It seemed kind of right, and made me think that maybe it makes that house feel a little more like home for her. Like he's still there with her, even in the new place.

Whatever works.

It's still funny to think that even when he was president, LBJ carried a jackknife in his pocket. How the world has changed, in ways large and small.

September 2015

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